Greetings & Blessings to all,
Welcome to our May edition. We hope it finds you and yours in good health, good spirits and good company. We know we’re way later than usual - as Bridget’s mother would say when the children were dawdling getting ready for Mass - “you’re so late going, you’ll meet yourselves coming back.”
But we do have a few excuses. As with many families, this time of year is chockerblock with celebrations from national holidays such as Memorial Day in the US to bank holidays in the UK, as well as graduations, end of year school recitals, and more. And for us it included attending our grandson Dashiell Patrick’s graduation from day care - yes we did say daycare. We joked before the ceremony that the ‘graduates’ would file in to Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance - and sure enough they did! It was all we could do to stifle the giggles as the cap and gowned five year olds solemnly walked in, single file. Giggles were also the order of the day at our three year old grandddaughter’s brilliant debut at her very first ballet recital. To paraphrase an old saying, If we had had known grandchildren were this much fun we would have had them first! Onwards.
Is everyone going to Ireland this summer - except us? Our niece Kelsey just returned from a college sponsored Irish Heritage tour and had so much fun, she wants to live there. We also know a slew of people who will be going over later this year. We must admit to being forty shades of green with envy, but we know that many of you are in the same boat as us - longing to go, but for various reasons, can’t. So, the next best thing we can do is bring Ireland to us - and to you - which is what we hope our newsletter will accomplish.
Just joined us? Many thanks for signing up and we do hope you will share Irish Culture and Customs - both the web site and the newsletter - with your family and friends.
Enough of the blather - on with the update:
IN THIS EDITION:
From the Mailbag
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week That Was
Leave 'em Laughing
A word from our Sponsor: Lollysmith
For the dads and lads, the grads and grooms, the brides and the bridal party, Lollysmith is sure to have exactly what you are looking for! And, since 1999,they have earned a well-deserved reputation for their quality, great prices, quick shipping, and friendly personalized service. Plus, new Items are being added all the time, So stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.
FROM THE MAILBAG
Veronica writes in response to finding inexpensive ties for the staff of a new Irish pub:
Please give my thanks to Pamela Boyd and Mary McCormick, I'll let you know which way it goes.
Joe Cainan writes:
I am engaged in a project here in Montana in which we are contemplating installing a large rock similar to the Mass Rocks prevalent in Ireland and used in the 1700’s. I would like to visit with anyone here in America who might have some knowledge of involvement with a Mass Rock located here in America. In that regard, do you guys have any knowledge of anyone who might know about or have been involved in any celebration with a Mass Rock here in America?
Jump into Ireland
As part of the latest tourism campaign, on this site you can view a marvelous group of videos describing iconic attractions - from the Rock of Cashel to Cultural Dublin, the wilds of Connemara to the Giant’s Causeway. There’s about a dozen of them - all short and sweet and all guaranteed to make you want to start planning that next trip, whether you’re within the country or far from it. Please click
Just for fun - karaoke Danny Boy
Gather round and get ready to sing the world’s best loved Irish song!
Sunrise at Bealtaine
In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer season started with the Fire Festival at Beltane. Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and were accompanied with rituals to protect the people from any harm by otherworldly spirits. At the Beltany Stone Circle in the North West of Ireland, the sunrise at Beltane is aligned with the only decorated stone in the circle. For more details and to view a spectacular photo by Ken Williams, please click Newgrange.com
The Bloomsday Survival Kit
Lovingly crafted to help you romp through Ulyssean Dublin on 16th June. It suggests who, what, when, where, why and how to create your own adventure on Bloomsday. The kit comprises The Bloomsday Manual, action prompts and equipment. Ladies find out where to flash a leg or snap your garter. Gentlemen know where you can pop your rocket. Great quotes to impress or shock your companions.
Session at the Fiddle Fair, Co. Cork
Musician's Matt Cranitch, Tom Murphy, Jessie Cawley, Dave Nagle and Mick Daly live at Bushes Bar in Baltimore, Co Cork for the opening session of this year's Fiddle Fair. They play two reel's, Banks of the Ilen followed by Tom Billy's reel. Enjoy!
Irish History Podcast - Photo Essay of Loughmoe Castle
situated on the banks of the river Suir in North Tipperary, the castle was built between the 15th and 17th centuries it was the seat of Barons of Loughmoe, the Anglo-Norman Purcell family..
Flashmob Irish Dancing
Five minutes of perfectly executed Irish dancing. This was actually a promotion at a local shopping mall to advertise the Dublin, Ohio Irish Festival last August.
History of Hurling - Part I
We just heard that a contingent of US Marines will be taking part in the international festival of hurling in Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary, on July 13th and 14th. For our readers who aren’t familiar with “the fastest field game in the world,” we hope you will find this video entertaining and informative. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg-1nZOah_Y&feature=related
The Irish Page - Dinner
previously, Jack & Vivian provided words for breakfast and lunch. Now they round out the menu with words for dinner.
Bru ar an nasc thios. (Press on the link below)
Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival 2012: Poetry & Short Story Competitions
The Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival takes place in Co. Cork from the 30th of July to the 5th of August. Now in its second year, the festival has been expanded to include writing competitions and a week of workshops. Entry details for the Edmund Spenser Poetry Competition and the Canon Sheehan Short Story Competition can be found here:
Map Your Vote- have you tried it yet?
Our nephew Ian and his dad Dennis have created a unique web site which involves voting on questions posed by subscribers. We jumped right in with queries related to Ireland and the Irish - for example, our latest poll is Do you speak Irish? It’s easy to sign up - just follow the prompts and it's totally FREE. There are hundreds of polls waiting for your input, so have your say today - and find out what others are saying. . To visit the site and register, please click
QUIPS, QUOTES, PROVERBS &TOASTS
Our source for this old toast is a new on line Irish magazine that looks very interesting. It focuses on pub culture - not so much the drinking - but rather the stories and camaraderie. If you’d like to take a look, here’s their URL:
"Here's to a temperance supper,
With water in glasses tall,
And coffee and tea to end with
And me not there at all!"
A BIT OF THE WIT
In memory of John B. Keane who passed away on May 30th, 2002, RIP:
“A Kerry footballer with an inferiority complex is one who thinks he's just as good as everybody else.”
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Bridget’s brother Terry O’Flaherty often sends us hilarious jokes - most of which we can’t use because they’re just a mite too controversial; however, this one made us laugh out loud and we’re editing it to fit the classic Kerryman style.
The Cahill twins were on their way home from Dick Mack’s; the moon was shining brightly and Sean said to Seamus “Which do you think is the farthest away - the moon or Dublin? Seamus stopped dead in his tracks and exclaimed, you must be joking - can you SEE Dublin?
ED. NOTE: Dick Macks is a real pub in Dingle. Looks like a fine place for great craic and camaraderie. Take a look:
DID YOU KNOW
1. During the 18th century, Ireland was the world’s largest exporter of butter?
2. New York City’s famous Coney Island is named after Coney Island located one mile out in Lough Neagh, Maghery, Co. Armagh?
3. A yew tree in a private garden in Co. Wexford is registered as over 1,000 years of age - the oldest tree in Ireland?
KNOW YOUR WRITERS
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. Irish Aboard The Titanic by Senan Moloney
2. In Search of Great Uncle Pat: Titanic Survivor by John Nolan
3. Titanic Tears: Leaving Ireland by Ned W. Schillow and Dru T. Schillow
A round of pints and applause to the following Irish bibliophiles:
And now for our next quiz. Who wrote:
1. Other Ireland
2. Wild Ireland
3. Irish Round Towers
Hint: All titles can be found on BestSellers.i.e.
Please send your entries to:
It would be very helpful to put Book Quiz in the subject line. Thanks!
To begin with, the answer to our last cranium cruncher:
Q: What is the only word in the English language that sounds the same even when the last four letters are removed?
Many of you didn’t think a single letter qualifies as a word, so we’re sorry if you felt misled by this riddle. That said - aren’t many riddles like that? In any event, we had long lines of Riddle People hoping they were first with the correct answer - but leading the queue was Steve Healy from Ohio. Well done Steve! And now for our next Brain Bruiser:
Q. Come guess me this riddle, what beats pipes and fiddle
What's hotter than mustard and milder than cream
What best wets your whistle, what's clearer than crystal
What's sweeter than honey and stronger than steam?
Please send your answers to Bridget and put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
SPONSOR: Help support this newsletter and our web site by visiting our friends at The Celtic Attic:
What ever the celebration, from graduations to weddings, you will find the perfect gift at the Celtic Attic. Come browse and buy- PLUS, exclusively for our readers, take 10% off your order and get FREE shipping on orders over $50! The discount will be removed after you place your order. Just put the code IC01 in the ‘add a gift card’ section!
Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
THE WEEK THAT WAS
ED. NOTE: We will be updating the home page in the next day or so.
1. Shopping Section: Naturally, we hope you and yours will do all of your shopping through Irish Culture & Customs and and the advertisers in our newsletter because for every sale, we make a small commission which goes a long way toward helping us cover the expenses of maintaining the web site and sending the newsletter. Many thanks in advance for your kindness!
ED. NOTE: We have a new advertiser: Celtic Collections just joined us and we encourage you to take a look at what’s on offer. To give you an idea, their slogan is Food & Finery from across the Pond. Plus, they offer something unique - the opportunity to host a Cupán Tae Home Show. Find out more here:
2. National News: We keep two week’s worth of headlines and links here: And we try to keep it all positive. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
3.County News: The bits and bobs that used to come by mail are now on line here:
4. Article: Whitsuntide in Old Ireland
5. Article: The Irish Soldiers in the American Civil War
6. Article: It’s a Long Way to Tipperary
7. Article: The Irish Soldiers in WWI
8. Article: St. Kevin, Founder of Glendalough
9: The Irish Kitchen The Waterford Blaa NEW!
10. Basic Irish: May & the Month of Mary
11. Kids’ Ireland: The Selfish Giant
12. Music Review: The Dubliners
13. Circle of Prayer. The 9th and last Novena in this cycle began on May 29th and continues through June 6th. Whatever your spiritual leanings or meditations; please remember Char Marshall and her family, the wife of Jack Donahue, Hartson Dowd, JoAnne Kelly, the family and friends of the McTiernans, and so many others who are going through serious health problems as well as severe economic stress and strain. And last, but certainly not least, please ask God to watch over our men and women in the military; that He will keep them safe and bring them home to their families soon. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.htm
14. Trivia Contest: All entries for the May contest must be in by midnight on May 31st, whatever time zone you live in.
April’s winner was Suzi Lenker, USA. Congratulations, Suzi! And well done on an excellent choice for your prize - Celtic Attic’s always popular Celtic Warrior pendant. For more details, please click
Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US $1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US $5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of our readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here:
So there you have it until we write again - God willing around mid June. In the meantime, Pinch Punch first day of the month White Rabbit - and if you’re celebrating a birthday, wedding or anniversary next month, we hope it’s an occasion filled with joy, love and laughter. Before we forget, if you tied the knot in June or plan to, here’s your special verse:
“If you marry when June roses blow
Over land and sea you’ll go.”
A safe and happy Summer Bank Holiday weekend to all of our readers in the Republic of Ireland and the same to all of you celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee in the UK - it promises to be a real knees-up!
We’ll take our leave with this traditional Irish blessing:
God keep you safe,
God keep you warm
God keep you and
yours from all harm.
May He bless your
kith and kin,
the hearth, the house
and all within.
And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Slan agus beannachtái,
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.
Téigh ar do ghlúine is bí buíoch le Dia go bhfuil tú fós ar do chosa.
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare
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ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Irish Abroad publishes a list of events here:
The Wild Geese also publishes events on its Facebook page:
If you would like us to promote an event, please send details to Bridget and include the word event in the subject line:
Cincinnati: June at the Irish Heritage Center From Bodran Classes to Irish Fiddle sessions and much, much more, there is always something going on to celebrate Ireland & the Irish. For complete details about all events, please click
Cleveland, OH -Saturday, June 16
AOH Gus Boland and William Berry Division Third Annual Father’s Day Eve Steak Roast. For tickets, directions and further information, call Gus: 216-952-8405 or email: Gusthegov@hotmail.com.
Harriet Island, St. Paul, Minnesota - August 10-12
Join us on the banks of the Mississippi River for a three-day celebration of Irish heritage with music, dance, family activities and good craic. Since 2001, beautiful Harriet Island Regional Park in downtown St. Paul has hosted the Irish Fair. The festival is recognized as one of the most family-friendly events in the Twin Cities, one of the most authentic Irish festivals nationwide. For complete details, please click
FRIENDS OF IRELAND - LOS ALAMITOS, CA
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in an RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307
CEILI OF THE VALLEY SOCIETY - Portland OR
First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click
ALWAYS LEAVE ‘EM LAUGHING
With the golf season in full swing - pun intended - we thought this series of anecdotes sent in by our good friend Bill Crotty would be a good way to end. Hope you agree!
When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit. Author Unknown
I don't say my golf game is bad, but if I grew tomatoes they'd come up sliced. Author Unknown
They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken. Raymond Floyd
It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course. Hank Aaron
Golf is a game in which you yell "fore," shoot six, and write down five. Paul Harvey
Give me golf clubs, fresh air & a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air. Jack Benny
Have you ever noticed what golf spells backwards?
The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course. Billy Graham
Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.
Go play golf. Go to the golf course. Hit the ball. Find the ball. Repeat until the ball is in the hole. Have fun. The end. Chuck Hogan
If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. Jack Lemmon
It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. Mark Twain
Golf is a game in which one endeavors to control a ball with implements ill adapted for the purpose.
A golfer's diet: live on greens as much as possible .
Gone golfin' ... be back about dark thirty.
Born to golf. Forced to work.
Golf and sex are the only things you can enjoy without being good at them. Jimmy DeMaret
May thy ball lie in green pastures .... and not in still waters. Author Unknown
If I hit it right, it's a slice. If I hit it left, it's a hook. If I hit it straight, it's a miracle. Author Unknown
The difference in golf and government is that in golf you can't improve your lie. George Deukmejian
Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes out of bagpipes.